back to article You can survive the migration from Windows vCenter server

Up until relatively recently, VMware’s vCenter was a Windows-only affair. With version 5 came the VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) based on a hardened Linux installation. It essentially left behind the legacy issues around management and patching (and all manner of other issues) that impact Windows. The next major release of …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    There is just no reason not to go with appliance. No malware, no Windows patches and no weird Windows server compatibility bugs.

    No malware? No patches? No weird compatability bugs? These are, well, courageous claims...

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Security patches will still be there, just Linux and VMWare ones, direct... But still security patches.

      The advantage is that they all come from one supplier, so, you would hope, that there would be no compatibility issues...

  2. msknight

    Pro tip...

    After starting the process and repeatedly failing at point 5, give up and deploy a fresh appliance.

    1. James 29

      Re: Pro tip...

      Yep our dev environment failed miserably when I attempted the vCenter migration.

      Ended up just doing a clean install of the VCSA. Which for simple environments isn't that much work

  3. chivo243 Silver badge

    SSL Certs

    Don't forget to get your SSL certs in order as well... It took me weeks to sort all the errors in the pre-flight checks.

    1. Ross Luker

      Re: SSL Certs

      Can't stress this one enough. I inherited a setup that seemed to have been upgraded OK, only to find SRM completely borked due to the certificates not working post-upgrade. Eventually even VMWare gave up and told us to just rebuild the SRM instance from the ground up... :-(

  4. Brindles73

    I am in the latter stages of a VMware version upgrade as 5.5 is going EOL. We have two sites with two vCentres. This was setup years before I joined the company. Sensibly we have decided to consolidate them into one instance. We chose to use the VCSA 6.5 appliance over the Windows one as it has the functionality , it is our organisation's global standard plus it saves a Windows license. The migration has been successful, with only a few niggles. The main one is Group Permissions doesn't like AD groups so as a workaround we have had to add accounts individually.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was this written by VMWare?

    No patching? No Malware? Really?

    Anyone relying on that will be running Eastern European guest software before they they can say "I've been a total moron and taken a major vendor at their word, hook line and sinker."

    Edit: Ah, no WINDOWS patching if your running on Linux. Thats just....

  6. Jesrad

    T'was easier done earlier with the 6.0U2m

    The VCSA migration is apparently less perilous when going 5.5 to 6.0, than all the way 5.5 to 6.5.

    The checklist I've accrued after a number of failed attempts to 6.5:

    Check your DNS (forward and reverse)

    Remove vUM

    Revert to self-signed certs for the transition, you'll customize them again later

    Check your DNS, I mean it

    Keep either IPv4 or IPv6 net config on the source vCenter server, not both

    Make sure your vCenter's vNIC portgroup is ephemeral if on a vDS, or duplicate it into a standard vSwitch

    Ensure the SSO admin account (default) is in the DCadmins SSO group (default too)

    Check your DNS, FFS

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: T'was easier done earlier with the 6.0U2m

      "Check your DNS, FFS"


      Also, if you are running a 'slightly' goofy set (linked vCenters with an embedded PSC), realize that it's absolutely not supported after 6.0.0- 6.0.U1 made some changes and having multiple vCenters with embedded PSCs just don't play well. There *is* a migration path for that:

      There's also some shenanigans if you are running Distributed vSwitch as well;

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Currently going from 5.5 to 6.5, while also changing Name, AD, and network. Better to do a migration to a new deploy imho. Just have to solve the DVS problem.

    1. dipopo

      You can export and import your DVS configuration!

  8. Paul Nothard

    Greenfield vs. Brownfield is an interesting debate.

    Going the upgrade route (brownfield) is fine for many and retains perf data and the like (if requested to). I've found it to be straightforward in a majority of cases.

    New instance (greenfield) allows you to redesign (and rid yourself of those design decisions you [inherited|got wrong the first time]) but you loose perf data (but keep it in vROps).

    Personally I prefer the latter greenfield approach as it usually gets a 'better' architected solution at the end of the process. There's *loads* of excellent (free!) resources out there to help you with both approaches.

    Above all, get off windows and onto the appliance. :-)

    p.s. Check your DNS (forward and reverse) is right. No, actually check it. ;-)

    (Disclaimer: I work for VMW)

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